Having established a clear link between the City of Aberdeen and a London bookseller, sometime hosier and dealer in articles of natural history last year, the life of Alexander Shaw has continued to cause me to itch.
And so while in Scotland recently I was delighted to come face-to-face with records relating to Alexander Shaw's business dealings, his estate and the Alexander Shaw Hospital.
Tim Cope, F.R.G.S., is an award winning adventurer, author, and filmmaker with a special interest in the history and culture of traditional nomadic society in Russia and Central Asia. Tim’s three year, 6,000 mile journey by horse from Mongolia to Hungary is the subject of his book On the Trail of Genghis Khan.
When I was writing Swallowed by the Sea: The Story of Australia's Shipwrecks, I looked for stories to strike a chord with readers in all parts of Australia. I chose to include the wrecks of the Tryal and HMAS Sydney on the west coast, HMS Sirius and HMS Pandora on the east coast, Cataraqui on the south coast and the World War II casualties on the north coast.
In light of Born Digital Week, it seems appropriate to write a blog on some of the challenges we and other institutions face when it comes to looking after born-digital content. So let’s take a closer look at a born-digital item in our collection which highlights some of the processes and challenges of preserving and maintaining access to digital content.
Most of us have moved into the digital world in order to work, communicate, take photos, and generally to run our lives. But the huge storage capacity of contemporary computers and other devices, and a sense of being too busy, mean that many people have chaotic personal digital archives, disorganised and prone to accidental loss.
If our digital archivists could be angels on the shoulders of digital content creators, they would bestow 4 pieces of wisdom.
Maps conveying news of war are as old as Ptolemy. In the second century AD, his map of the Middle East spread the news across the Empire of victory over the Judeans, and the redrawing of boundaries for the new Roman province of Syria Palestina. The map was part of an ancient media campaign to quell any similar unrest. Over many centuries since, maps have led the public war story, bringing a sense of order at home while the situation in the field was anything but.
The first Cole's Funny Picture Book was issued in Australia with great fanfare on 24 December 1879 as the ‘Cheapest Child's Picture Book ever published’ and although many hundreds of thousands of copies are said to have been sold—each for single shilling—no surviving copies are recorded. Sales were unprecedented and the book was continuously in print for a century, delighting generations of Australian children and their parents.
Pulp magazines were not designed to have long shelf lives. But in some ways this is what makes them so perfect for collection and ripe for republishing. Even when the subject matter is colonial Australia or wild-west America, the stories in Famous Detective Stories tell us much about Australia from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s; they're a snapshot of gender attitudes, race relations, city life and that generation's fears and dreams.
Artist Augustus Earle’s life was in many respects so remarkable that if it wasn’t true it would have had to be invented. Born in London in 1793, he exhibited at the Royal Academy from the age of 13 and is acknowledged as the first independent, professional artist to visit all continents. He documented his travels with candour and honesty. Loving travel and immersing himself in the worlds he encountered, he captured them in luminous watercolours.
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